Drug-testing for welfare axed from Ohio bill

A pilot program for drug-testing those receiving government assistance has been removed from the budget bill.

Drug-testing for welfare benefits isn't a new concept in Ohio, but a decision to shoot down the proposal on Wednesday may keep it out of the picture for a while longer.

The Plain Dealer reports an Ohio Senate committee agreed to remove the measure from Gov. John Kasich's midterm budget bill only 24 hours after it was added by the Republican-controlled Senate Finance Committee.

The proposal would have funded a pilot program in three counties to drug test participants in the Ohio Works First program for their government assistance checks.

According to the Associated Press, the proposal was criticized for being "discriminatory to the poor, ineffective in other states, and potentially unconstitutional."

The measure isn't entirely dead, however. Senate Republican spokeswoman Angela Meleca told the Dealer that they would consider the drug-testing provision in a separate bill.

Those who oppose the bill say the legislation makes a person's economic status a crime.

"The poor have many obstacles that they have to overcome, one of which is public policy and this seems to be another obstacle that they have to overcome in order to rise out of poverty," said Kyle Grefe, Executive Director of FOCUS, in an interview with WNWO in August.

Does Ohio need a bill for drug-testing welfare recipients? Who should fund the program, the state (i.e. taxpayers) or the welfare recipients? Leave your comment below.